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Practice Trading & Backtesting Cryptocurrency Strategies

Practice Trading & Backtesting Cryptocurrency Strategies

By | Cryptocurrency | No Comments

There was a time, in the not-so-distant past, when there existed only one cryptocurrency: Bitcoin. Since the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009, there are not hundreds, but thousands of cryptocurrencies available today. Crypto investors, both individual and institutional, want to succeed in this volatile marketplace by maintaining a strong portfolio and investing in assets that will maximize their profits at the lowest possible risk. In order to properly analyze risks and profitability, crypto investors need performance metrics to measure and evaluate their trading strategies. Here, we introduce new analytics, tools and resources that help crypto investors practice trading and backtesting to optimize their strategy’s potential.

Good Performance Benchmarks

Most crypto investors track cryptocurrencies based on their price. However, if you have a plethora of cryptocurrencies in your portfolio, it is not always easy to track them individually. Instead, benchmarks and indices are useful tools for tracking the performance of multiple cryptocurrencies based on a predefined set of metrics. Benchmarks are intended to be simple, transparent, flexible to changes, easy to understand and can be applied to measure the performance of any portfolio in comparison. We will analyze the performance of two cryptocurrency benchmarks more closely: CCi30 and Bitwise 10. 

Cryptocurrency Index 30 (CCi30) is one of the oldest indexes in the cryptocurrency space – its starting value is January 1, 2015. CCi30 is based on the top 30 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization to measure overall growth, daily and long-term movement of the blockchain industry. 

Bitwise 10 Large Cap Crypto Index (Bitwise 10) tracks the total return of the 10 largest cryptocurrency assets. These assets are measured and weighted by free-float and 5-year inflation-adjusted market capitalization.

What Do You Get In Return?

Timing is everything. When you enter the cryptocurrency market, results in different rates of return on your investment. Let’s explore three different scenarios. 

If you entered the cryptocurrency market in January 2017, CCi30 and Bitwise 10 benchmarks show that your return rates lie between 500-750% in profits (Figure 1a). In contrast, if you entered the market in January 2018, your return rates lie between 70-80% in losses (Figure 1b). Finally, if you entered the market in January 2019, your return rates lie between 10-20% in profits (Figure 1c). 

Figure 1a. Performance of CCi30 and Bitwise 10 benchmarks if investor entered the cryptocurrency market in January 2017. Return rates lie between 500-750% profit. 

Cryptocurrency Backtesting: Benchmark Return CCi30 BITX

Figure 1b. Performance of CCi30 and Bitwise 10 benchmarks if investor entered the cryptocurrency market in January 2018. Return rates lie between 70-80% loss. 

Cryptocurrency Backtesting: Benchmark Return CCi30 BITX

Figure 1c. Performance of CCi30 and Bitwise 10 benchmarks if investor entered the cryptocurrency market in January 2019. Return rates lie between 10-20% profit. 

Cryptocurrency Backtesting: Benchmark Return CCi30 BITX

Putting It To The Test

We tried a simple experiment starting January 1, 2019 to determine how profitable we will be compared to cryptocurrency benchmarks CCi30 and Bitwise 10. In the first week, we invested in 5 cryptocurrencies based on one of the two strategies below. After one week, we sold all 5 cryptocurrencies. We repeated this process every two weeks by selecting another set of 5 cryptocurrencies. 

Strategy 1

In our first strategy, Strategy 1, we choose the top 5 cryptocurrencies with the largest total returns in the past 30 days, found readily in our biweekly Market Reports. For example, in our latest market report from June 24, 2019 (Figure 2), the top 5 cryptocurrencies are Hypercash (HC), MonaCoin (MONA), Bitcoin SV (BSV), GXChain (GXC), and Bytom (BTM). Total returns in the past 30 days is also available in real-time through our Coinscious Terminal

Figure 2. Mean daily returns, historical daily volatility, total returns, and ex-post Sharpe ratio for each cryptocurrencies with the highest total returns from May 25, 2019 to June 23, 2019. The Sharpe ratio is calculated with the 10 year US Treasury bill rate as the annual risk-free rate.

Crypto Report - HyperCasH HC, MONA, BSV, GXC, BTM

Strategy 2

In our second strategy, Strategy 2, we choose the top 5 cryptocurrencies based on Sharpe ratios from the past 30 days, found in our Advanced Market Reports. The Sharpe ratio is a risk adjusted measure of return that describes the reward per unit of risk. The reward is the average excess returns of an investment against a benchmark or risk-free rate of return, and the risk is the standard deviation of the excess returns. A higher Sharpe ratio is better. Ex-ante Sharpe ratio is calculated with expected returns whereas ex-post Sharpe ratio is calculated with realized historical returns.

Will We Profit?

We ran our experiment every two weeks for three months. Now, let’s look at how our strategies, Strategy 1 and Strategy 2, perform when compared to cryptocurrency benchmarks CCi30 and Bitwise 10. 

Figure 3 shows that if we entered the cryptocurrency market on January 1, 2019, based on CCi30 and Bitwise 10 benchmarks, our rate of return lies between 10-20%. In comparison, the strategies from our experiment are much more profitable. By using Strategy 1, we yield an 80% return rate while Strategy 2 yields a 50% return rate. 

Figure 3. Cumulative return rates for CCi30 and Bitwise 10 benchmarks, Strategy 1 and Strategy 2 between January 1, 2019 to March 30, 2019. 

Cryptocurrency Backtesting: Benchmark Return CCi30 BITX Benchmark

We can look at performances of Strategy 1 and Strategy 2 through additional plots such as 30-day rolling Sharpe ratio versus time; 30-day volatility versus time; and drawdowns versus time. 

In figure 4a, we see that the 30-day rolling Sharpe ratio constantly decreases for Strategy 2 between the beginning of February to mid-March. This is helpful to perceive as we may consider changing our strategy if the Sharpe ratio continues to decline even further. 

Figure 4a. 30-day rolling Sharpe ratio for Strategy 1 and Strategy 2 between January 1, 2019 to March 30, 2019. 

Cryptocurrency Backtesting: 30-day rolling Sharpe ratio for Strategy 1 and Strategy 2 between January 1, 2019 to March 30, 2019.

Figure 4b. 30-day rolling volatility for Strategy 1 and Strategy 2 between January 1, 2019 to March 30, 2019.

Cryptocurrency Backtesting: 30-day rolling volatility for Strategy 1 and Strategy 2 between January 1, 2019 to March 30, 2019.

Figure 4c. Drawdowns for Strategy 1 and Strategy 2 between January 1, 2019 to March 30, 2019.

Cryptocurrency Backtesting: Drawdown

Practice Makes Perfect

Crypto investors are risk takers who know there’s a huge potential for profit. In order to make the most of their portfolio, crypto investors need access to high-quality historical and real-time technical data to backtest, evaluate, and optimize their trading strategies. By providing direct access to our team’s analysis, tools and accurate data, we make it easy for crypto investors to have all the necessary means to succeed on their own or through our backtesting services. In doing so, crypto investors can adequately manage a strong, profitable portfolio that has one, hundreds, or even thousands of cryptocurrencies.

Learn More

Find out more about all the freely accessible tools and resources we highlighted in this article.

  • This helpful guide is extracted from our CTO & Co-Founder, Daniel Im, and his presentation “Crypto Market Analysis, Analysis Tools & Data.” Watch the full presentation to discover how to detect suspicious exchanges and build a stronger cryptocurrency portfolio:

REPORT SERVICE

  • Market Report: an analysis of recent historical performances of the top 50 assets to identify current cryptocurrency market trends. SUBSCRIBE NOW

TERMINAL

  • Coinscious Terminal: real-time analytics on the top 100 coins/tokens, 18 mainstream crypto exchanges, and top technical trading indicators

SIGN-UP NOW FREE:   MARKET DATA API   |  ALERT APIREPORT SERVICES

Disclaimer

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a research report or investment advice. It should not be construed as Coinscious recommending investment in cryptocurrencies or other products or services, or as a solicitation to buy or sell any security or engage in a particular investment strategy. Investment in the crypto market entails substantial risk. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and consult all available material, and, if necessary, seek professional advice.

Coinscious and its partners, directors, shareholders and employees may have a position in entities referred to herein or may make purchases and/or sales from time to time, or they may act, or may have acted in the past, as an advisor to certain companies mentioned herein and may receive, or may have received, a remuneration for their services from those companies.

Neither Coinscious or its partners, directors, shareholders or employees shall be liable for any damage, expense or other loss that you may incur out of reliance on any information contained in this report.

Building A Stronger Cryptocurrency Portfolio

By | Cryptocurrency | No Comments

With the cryptocurrency market still in its infancy, there are many windows of opportunity for the right investors. Crypto investors, both individual and institutional, want to succeed in this volatile marketplace by maximizing their profits with the lowest possible risk. However, with a plethora of assets to choose from, it’s not as simple as trusting biased opinions that voice optimism one day and skepticism the next. Instead, investors need to focus on researching the potential assets they’re investing in and understanding their risk profile to ensure success. Here, we introduce new analytics, tools and resources that help crypto investors easily identify valuable asset candidates that contribute to building a stronger cryptocurrency portfolio.

Understanding Risk-Return Tradeoff

Technical data may seem daunting perceive without the right know-how. A risk-return plot is a simple way to visually see an asset’s performance relative to its volatility. In the following example, we will examine a historical plot from our market report of the mean daily return versus daily volatility for the top 50 cryptocurrencies between February 28, 2019 to March 28, 2019.

Figure 1. Mean daily return against historical daily volatility from February 28, 2019 to March 28, 2019.

a) Comparing Similar Assets

Let’s say we wanted to consider a return level just above 1%, how do we determine which asset to consider adding to our portfolio?

In Figure 1, the red line (1) shows that there are four assets that have mean daily returns slightly above 1%: Litecoin (LTC), OmiseGO (OMG), Basic Attention Token (BAT), and Ontology (ONT). Although the assets may have similar daily return levels, they do not share the same behaviour.

Next, we look at the diagonal blue line (2) in figure 1 and see which asset falls on the left-most side. Assets towards the left of the plot represent assets with lower volatility. Therefore, among the assets that offer the same level of return, Litecoin is the least volatile and the best choice out of the four to add to our portfolio.

b) Investigating Outliers

Riskier assets are found in the top-rightmost corner of the risk-return plot. These outlier assets represent assets that offer the highest mean daily return but are also the most volatile.

In Figure 1, the green line (3) shows that Tezos (XTZ) stands out. Tezos is a self-amending proof-of-work dApp platform that removes the need to hard fork when implementing protocol amendments. Although, higher risk investments may have the highest potential return, there is no guarantee. We can use real-time analytics from our Coinscious Terminal to look at Tezos’ performance for a longer duration of time and determine whether it’s worth adding to our portfolio or if it’s too risky.

Figure 2. Tezos (XTZ) return and risk table from: https://terminal.coinscious.io

From the table in Figure 2, we see that in terms of return, Tezos offers positive returns with price changes – constantly growing from one day to three months. The same table also shows that in terms of risk, Tezos’ volatility over one month and one year are both relatively low, and its price sits on the higher end.

Based on the data above, Tezos looks to be a favourable asset to add to our portfolio. We can deepen our understanding of by looking at performance analytics, trend sentiments, and indicator analytics featured on Tezos’ individual asset page (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Tezos (XTZ) performance analytics, trend sentiments and indicator analytics from: https://terminal.coinscious.io/details/XTZ/en

Tezo’s overall one-year performance and risk analytics identify: Sharpe ratio, alpha, beta, r-squared, mean return and volatility values, maximum drawdown, Value at Risk (VaR), and expected shortfalls. Trend sentiments help gauge Tezos’ trend momentums and moving averages over long periods of time. Indicator analytics are useful for discovering which strategy works best for this asset under performance metrics like Sharpe ratio, win rate and profit factor.

Together, all this technical data objectively shows an asset’s performance compared to its risk, and helps crypto investors determine whether they are good candidates to add to their portfolio or risky investments to avoid.

Realizing Cryptocurrency’s Potential

Crypto investors know there’s a huge potential for profit. However, overcoming the risks requires effort and planning. Reading the whitepaper to understand the problem a project is attempting to solve, identifying the team behind-the-scenes, and determining the uniqueness and prospect of a potential asset are fundamental steps to take. However, they only represent the first phase of much bigger learning curve.

In order to make the most of their portfolio, crypto investors need to digest a lot of historical and real-time technical data to grasp the full tradeoff between risk and return. By providing direct access to our team’s analysis, tools and accurate data, we make it easy for crypto investors to have all the necessary means to succeed. In doing so, crypto investors no longer need to rely on biased opinions that favour currently hyped assets. Rather, they can focus on building stronger cryptocurrency portfolios by choosing valuable assets based on data-driven insights.

Learn More

Find out more about all the freely accessible tools and resources we highlighted in this article.

  • This helpful guide is extracted from our CTO & Co-Founder, Daniel Im, and his presentation “Crypto Market Analysis, Analysis Tools & Data.” Watch the full presentation to discover how to detect suspicious exchanges and learn how to backtest strategies:

REPORT SERVICE

  • Market Report: an analysis of recent historical performances of the top 50 assets to identify current cryptocurrency market trends. SUBSCRIBE NOW

TERMINAL

  • Coinscious Terminal: real-time analytics on the top 100 coins/tokens, 18 mainstream crypto exchanges, and top technical trading indicators

SIGN-UP NOW FREE:   MARKET DATA API   |  ALERT APIREPORT SERVICES

Disclaimer

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a research report or investment advice. It should not be construed as Coinscious recommending investment in cryptocurrencies or other products or services, or as a solicitation to buy or sell any security or engage in a particular investment strategy. Investment in the crypto market entails substantial risk. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and consult all available material, and, if necessary, seek professional advice.

Coinscious and its partners, directors, shareholders and employees may have a position in entities referred to herein or may make purchases and/or sales from time to time, or they may act, or may have acted in the past, as an advisor to certain companies mentioned herein and may receive, or may have received, a remuneration for their services from those companies.

Neither Coinscious or its partners, directors, shareholders or employees shall be liable for any damage, expense or other loss that you may incur out of reliance on any information contained in this report.

Crypto Exchanges

How To Detect Suspicious Crypto Exchanges

By | Cryptocurrency | No Comments

The entire crypto market has been on a fast uptrend this past week with the recovery of bitcoin. For crypto traders, choosing the right crypto exchange platform to trade on is equally as important as choosing the right asset to have in your portfolio. With recent catchy news headlines about “suspicious exchanges” and “fake volumes,” the public has long speculated that exchanges have manipulated the crypto market. As easy as it is to be swayed by sensationalized headlines, how can crypto traders objectively look for suspicious exchanges by themselves?

Using Technical Data to Spot Abnormal Trends

In the following section, we will share examples of how to use our team’s tools and research – like our Coinscious Terminal and exchange reports – to learn how to detect suspicious exchanges on their own.

a) Real-time Analytics

We start by analyzing Figure 1 which shows huge spikes in Bitcoin volume and price pump that occurred on April 2, 2019.

Figure 1. Price of Bitcoin (BTC) in USD at Bitfinex on April 2, 2019 at 7 A.M. EST.

Crypto Exchanges

We can look at volume changes directly from our Coinscious Terminal for the top 18 mainstream exchanges. The data table in Figure 2, shows volume changes on April 2 for the top ten exchanges in blue. There are very drastic volume changes greater than 70% for all exchanges listed, except for Fcoin. Fcoin only had a 10% volume change, indicating that crypto traders should be wary of trading on this exchange as it is most likely faking its volume.

Figure 2. Top 10 crypto exchanges by ranked 24-hour volume on April 2, 2019 from: https://terminal.coinscious.io/exchange/

b) Historical Data

Next, we will analyze a plot of ETH/BTC daily volume for the same 18 crypto exchanges between January 16 to February 16, 2019 from our exchange report. In Figure 3, ZB is the only crypto exchange with an exchange volume curve that sticks out to the far-right. What exactly is going on here?

Figure 3. ETH/BTC pair daily volume for each exchange from February 16, 2019 to March 16, 2019 in USD.

Crypto Exchanges

We can further analyze this anomaly by using principal component analysis (PCA) and plotting exchanges based on the first two principal components, PC1 and PC2. From the plot in Figure 4, we can see several crypto exchanges clustered together at the bottom-left. These represent exchanges that are correlated with one another and hence, follow similar volume trends. Conversely, there are clear outliers like Binance, Fcoin, HitBTC, HuobiPro, OKEx, and ZB. These outlier exchanges have volume trends that diverge from the market mean.

Figure 4. PCA volume analysis for ETH/BTC. The biplot, where the two main principal components are used to represent the exchanges, allows us to identify clusters or groups of exchanges that might be correlated according to volume.

Crypto Exchanges

We can even take this one step further and use a more quantitative way of measuring, by looking at volume correlations between exchanges. In the green box in Figure 5, all the intersections coloured in bright orange means that these exchanges are positively correlated; they follow similar crypto market trend patterns.

Figure 5. Daily volume correlations between exchanges from January 16, 2019 to February 16, 2019 for ETH/BTC. Correlation ranges between -1 and 1. Correlation close to 1 indicates a more positive relationship between the pair of cryptocurrency returns and correlation close to -1 indicates a more negative linear relationship. Correlation close to 0 indicates no linear relationship.

Crypto Exchanges

The exchanges in the blue box, with intersections coloured in red and black are anti-correlated to the exchanges in the green box. Therefore, this means that bitFlyer, Fcoin, HitBTC, Zaif and ZB have volume trends that go against those exchanges in the blue box listed on the x-axis.

What’s really interesting are the exchanges in the yellow box. Some of these exchanges have no correlation to one another while others have negative correlations. An explanation for this may be due to different trading bot algorithms that run on each exchange. Since they have different algorithms, this creates no correlation or negative correlations between the exchanges.

c) Additional Research

This March, Bitwise Asset Management released a report to the SEC highlighting the problems and common misconceptions of crypto exchanges. Bitwise’s study reveals that “95% of volumes is fake and/or non-economic in nature, and that the real market for bitcoin is significantly smaller” [1].

By looking at the shape of trade size histogram distributions, they compare crypto exchanges that follow a natural exponential decay pattern (Figure 6a) versus suspect exchanges that have highly irregular shapes (Figure 6b). Their findings indicate that there are only 10 well-known exchanges that have actual volume including: Binance, Bitfinex, bitFlyer, Bittrex, Bitstamp, Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, itBit, and Poloniex.

Figure 6a. Trade size histograms for well-known exchanges that show natural patterns

Crypto Exchanges

Figure  6b. Trade size histograms for suspect exchanges that show irregular patterns.

Crypto Exchanges

Developing Stronger Technical Skills

Technical data is crucial for understanding the nuances of the existing crypto market. All of the examples above demonstrate how simple it is to identify outliers and suspicious exchanges once crypto traders know how to read and interpret technical analyses. By providing direct access to our team’s analysis, tools and accurate data, we make it easy for crypto traders to have all the necessary means to succeed. In doing so, crypto traders no longer need to make decisions solely based on catchy headlines but rather, they can discover fairer and more reliable crypto exchanges based on objective data-driven insights.

Learn More

This helpful guide is extracted from our CTO & Co-Founder, Daniel Im, and his presentation “Crypto Market Analysis, Analysis Tools & Data.” Watch the full presentation to discover tools to help build stronger portfolios and learn how to backtest strategies.

Resources

Find out more about all the tools and resources we highlighted in this article:

REPORT SERVICE

  • Exchange Report: an analysis of recent historical volumes and prices of 18 mainstream exchanges to identify better or fairer cryptocurrency platforms. SUBSCRIBE NOW
  • Market Report: an analysis of recent historical performances of the top 50 assets to identify current cryptocurrency market trends. SUBSCRIBE NOW

TERMINAL

  • Coinscious Terminal: real-time analytics on the top 100 coins/tokens, 18 mainstream crypto exchanges, and top technical trading indicators

SIGN-UP NOW FREE:   MARKET DATA API   |  ALERT APIREPORT SERVICES

Reference

[1] Bitwise Asset Management. “Presentation to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.” 2019, www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nysearca-2019-01/srnysearca201901-5164833-183434.pdf

Disclaimer

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a research report or investment advice. It should not be construed as Coinscious recommending investment in cryptocurrencies or other products or services, or as a solicitation to buy or sell any security or engage in a particular investment strategy. Investment in the crypto market entails substantial risk. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and consult all available material, and, if necessary, seek professional advice.

Coinscious and its partners, directors, shareholders and employees may have a position in entities referred to herein or may make purchases and/or sales from time to time, or they may act, or may have acted in the past, as an advisor to certain companies mentioned herein and may receive, or may have received, a remuneration for their services from those companies.

Neither Coinscious or its partners, directors, shareholders or employees shall be liable for any damage, expense or other loss that you may incur out of reliance on any information contained in this report.

Crypto Market Recoveries

By | News | No Comments

📝 Bakkt Ready To Test Bitcoin Futures This July

MONDAY, MAY 13, 2019

Bakkt, the crypto initiative by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) which was first announced August 2018 is ready to launch testing for bitcoin futures trading July 2019. In their Medium post, Bakkt announced they will be working closely with ICE Futures U.S. Exchange, ICE Clear U.S. clearinghouse to ensure a successful launch as well as the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission to be complaint with federal regulations. 

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


🚦Binance To Reopen Deposits & Withdrawals On Tuesday

MONDAY, MAY 13, 2019

Cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, will resume deposit and withdrawal services this Tuesday. The platform suffered a major hack on May 7, resulting in the theft of 7,070 bitcoins (worth $40 million) from the exchange’s hot wallets. In their official announcement, CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), shared the team has been working on adding a number of advanced security features with more details to be provided shortly. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


🐋 Blockchain Watch

MONDAY, MAY 13, 2019

SOURCE: TWITTER


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

[VIDEO] Crypto Market Analysis, Analysis Tools and Data

By | Cryptocurrency, Videos | No Comments
This video is available to view with English, Chinese or Korean subtitles.

As part of this year’s Toronto Blockchain Week, Coinscious hosted Crypto Market Analysis & Insights.” During this record turnout event, we showcased speakers and panelists from a wide range of backgrounds –  cryptocurrency, blockchain, banking, government, legal and investment – to share their insights and unique perspectives on the current crypto market. This exciting opportunity allowed us to provide a wealth of knowledge to the general public which would otherwise only be reserved to members of those respective industries.

One important presentation from the evening, was by our CTO & Co-Founder, Daniel Im, who presented “Crypto Market Analysis, Analysis Tools and Data.” As a crypto data and analytics provider, our team has built a suite of tools and services to help cryptotraders, at all levels of trading, to maximize their strategies to obtain the highest returns. Challenges in the existing crypto market – like volatility and fake exchange volumes – can hinder strategies if cryptotraders do not have access to useful resources and accurate crypto data to overcome them.

In the video above, we share Daniel’s presentation as a chance to provide guidance to all cryptotraders on how to better determine: where to trade, what to trade and how to practice/backtest their trading strategies, all by simply using our data, tools and resources. For example, from our exchange reports, Daniel demonstrates how cryptotraders can identify outliers from technical data and shows ways to look for suspicious exchanges by using our volume correlation data. He also highlights how to use our market reports in conjunction with our Market & Trading Strategy Terminal to decide which coins/tokens to have in your portfolio based on risk versus return data and performance analytics.

Watch the full video to learn more about how to best pair our crypto data products and services with your trading needs. 

Check out the products and services we’ve highlighted:

REPORT SERVICE

  • Market Report: an analysis of recent historical performances of the top 50 assets to identify current cryptocurrency market trends. SUBSCRIBE NOW
  • Exchange Report: an analysis of recent historical volumes and prices of 18 mainstream exchanges to identify better or fairer cryptocurrency platforms SUBSCRIBE NOW

TERMINAL

  • Coinscious Terminal: real-time analytics on the top 100 coins/tokens, 18 mainstream crypto exchanges, and top technical trading indicators

DATA SERVICE

  • Market Data API: the most accurate and comprehensive raw crypto market VWAP, OHLCV, trade and order book data. Try our live stream API free. SUBSCRIBE NOW

Technical data is crucial for understanding the nuances of the existing crypto market. However, data is difficult to collect and interpret without the right resources and know-how. By providing direct access to our team’s research analysis, analysis tools and data, we make it easy for cryptotraders to have all the necessary means to succeed. We hope that through this video, cryptotraders can learn how to best apply these objective methods towards building a stronger portfolio. In doing so, cryptotraders no longer need to make decisions solely based on sentiments but rather, they can discover and improve existing strategies based on objective data-driven insights.

SIGN-UP NOW FREE:   MARKET DATA API   | REPORT SERVICES

Investigating Crypto Exchange Price & Volume Patterns

By | Coinscious Lab, Data Analytics, Exchange Report | No Comments

Overview

Released monthly, this report aims to analyze and characterize cryptocurrency exchanges according to their volume for the past month, this time from February 16, 2019 to March 16, 2019.

Our universe of analysis uses public exchange data from 18 of some of the most popular exchanges1 (see Figure 1). Through analysis of the recent historical volume and price of individual exchanges we provide a framework for analysis where investors can identify better or fairer exchanges.

Using daily volume data from some of the most widely used cryptocurrency exchanges, we were able to cluster exchanges into three groups based on similarity in volume trends. Some of our findings include the following:

  • OKEx and HitBTC go against the market both in terms of volume correlation and price-volume correlation.
  • Although OKEx has reported the biggest traded volume between February 16, 2019 to March 16, 2019, PCA analysis separates it from the other top exchanges (i.e. Binance and HuobiPro), and shows a low correlation with the market in terms of traded volume.

Performance

Figure 1. Total monthly volume, mean daily volume, max daily volume, mean hourly volume and max hourly volume for each exchange from February 16, 2019 to March 16, 2019 in USD. Monitor exchange performance daily through our Market & Trading Strategy Dashboard: dashboard.coinscious.io

According to the public exchange data, OKEx has reported the biggest mean daily and hourly volume for the past month.

In the past month, OKEx took first place with a total of $28 billion traded between February 16 to March 16, compared to $25 billion for ZB (2nd) and $20 billion for Binance (3rd) (see Figure 1).

We chose ETH/BTC trading pair to analyze exchange volumes in more depth. ZB traded volume for ETH/BTC was the highest overall, following the trend described in our previous Exchange Report. However, OKEx took first place on March 5 when its volume changed from $78 million to $107 million in a single day. It remained at the top spot until March 12, when its volume dropped back down to $39 million; ZB retook first place. Interestingly, according to BeinCrypto, on March 5 ethereum’s price began to increase rapidly from $130 throughout the earlier part of the day, and reached a daily highly of $143.83 on March 6 [1].

Figure 2. ETH/BTC pair daily volume for each exchange from February 16, 2019 to March 16, 2019 in USD.

Observations

The cryptocurrency market was on an uptrend starting from the morning of Wednesday, April 3, 2019 – the price of BTC went up from $4,000 to $4,800. In fact, because of the BTC pump, we observed that there were huge volume changes for all exchanges except Fcoin; their volume changes remained low.

Figure 3a. Top 10 crypto exchange volume changes on April 3, 2019.

As you can see in Figure 3a, the top 10 exchanges have 1-day volume changes ranging between 73.35% to 315.18%. However, Fcoin is the only exchange with a much lower volume change of 9.25%.

Three days later, on the morning of Saturday, April 6, 2019, the market started to slow down and became tranquil. Again, we can observe this from 1-day volume changes in Figure 3b, where most of the exchanges’ volume changes decreased to around 22-60%. Nevertheless, Fcoin and HitBTC volume changes were up by 18% and 19% respectively.

Figure 3b. Top 10 crypto exchange volume changes on April 6, 2019.  

These strong indications reveal that Fcoin (and possibly HitBTC) is likely faking its volume. The next section delves into a deeper analysis and looks at which specific exchanges violate volume trends in comparison to all exchanges overall.

Analysis

In order to categorize exchanges and investigate their trends during the past month, we performed a dimensionality reduction analysis using PCA2 for ETH/BTC pair daily volume. By plotting crypto exchanges according to their first two principal components, we identified a cluster and some outliers (see Figures 3a and 3b). The two first principal components explain more than 80% of the variance in our data set and the relative position along the x- and y-axes indicate similarities between exchanges in terms of traded volume. Thus, exchanges clustered together present similar volume trends, while outliers, namely Okex, HuobiPro, Binance, Fcoin, HitBTC, and ZB, show trends that diverge from the market mean.

If we zoom in on the market mean, we can identify subgroups of exchanges that are closely related inside the market mean (Figure 3b).

Figure 3a. PCA Volume analysis for ETH/BTC. The biplot, where the two main principal components are used to represent the exchanges allows us to identify clusters or groups of exchanges that might be correlated according to volume.

Figure 3b. PCA Volume analysis excluding outliers in the first analysis.

To understand the meaning of the two principal components and characterize the outliers, we decided to look at correlation between exchanges. We used volume for the ETH/BTC pair to identify a general trend in the market and determine whether exchanges follow or are against the trend (see Figure 5). Although most exchanges show a similar trend (that is, they follow a similar daily volume trend), OKEx, Bitflyer, BigOne and HitBTC show a daily volume trend that goes against the market. Interestingly, ZB and Zaif follow the mean market trend this time. Also note that compared to the PCA biplot using daily volume data from January 16 to February 16, OKEx and ZB have swapped positions (see Figure 3 from the previous Exchange Report)

Figure 5a. Top 5 negative volume correlations

Figure 5b. Top 5 positive volume correlations

Figure 6. Daily volume correlations between exchanges from February 16, 2019 to March 16, 2019 for ETH/BTC. Correlation ranges between -1 and 1. Correlation close to 1 indicates a more positive relationship between the pair of cryptocurrency returns and correlation close to -1 indicates a more negative linear relationship. Correlation close to 0 indicates no linear relationship.

OKEx, in particular, shows negative correlations with all exchanges except for HitBTC and HuobiPro. This suggests that OKEx, Bitflyer, HitBTC and BigONE are acting against the market.

Again, Upbit and Bittrex show the highest correlation for all exchange pairs, suggesting that they share the same order book [2]. This was also noted in our previous Exchange Report.

To explore what other factors could contribute to the clustering in different groups after Volume PCA, we calculated the correlation between ETH/BTC price and volume for every exchange pair (see Figure 6).

Figure 7. Daily price-volume correlations between exchanges from February 16, 2019 to March 16, 2019 for ETH/BTC. Correlation ranges between -1 and 1. Correlation close to 1 indicates a more positive relationship between the pair of cryptocurrency returns and correlation close to -1 indicates a more negative linear relationship. Correlation close to 0 indicates no linear relationship.

OKEx and HitBTC stand out as exchanges with the highest negative correlation between ETC/BTC price and volume for all exchanges. This shows that not only their volume, but also their ETH prices go against the market. While most exchanges show a positive trend (higher volumes associated with higher prices), OKEx, HitBTC, HuobiPro and BigOne show a negative trend (higher volumes associated with lower prices, and vice versa).

Summary

Using daily volume data from 18 of some of the most widely used cryptocurrency exchanges and principal component analysis, we identified three clusters of exchanges sharing similar volume trends. We mainly looked at volume correlations and price-volume correlations. Our findings include:

  • Okex and HitBTC go against the market both in terms of volume correlation and price-volume correlation.
  • Although Okex has reported the biggest traded volume in the past month, PCA analysis separates it from the other top exchanges (i.e. Binance and HuobiPro) and shows a low correlation with the market in terms of traded volume.

Here, these findings are simple observations of possibly correlated variables. We share this from the point-of-view of something to look out for. Overall, our exchange analysis has proven useful to study patterns of volume and price activity in the market and identify potential manipulation, that could be confirmed using blockchain data.

Footnotes

1 The scope of this report does not cover futures contracts.

2 PCA is a technique that finds underlying variables that best differentiates your data points. In this article, we visualize and analyze along the two dimensions which the data points varies the most (see Appendix B).

APPENDIX A: Methodology

The daily volume of cryptocurrencies in USD at 4:00 PM EST from February 16, 2019 to March 16, 2019 was used for our volume ranking. Daily volume and price for the pair ethereum_bitcoin was used for the same time period for the PCA analysis and correlation analysis. Price and volume were normalized such that its distribution had mean value 0 and standard deviation of 1 in order to perform principal component analysis and calculate price-volume correlations. In subsequent reports, we may update our universe, sectors, methodology, and analysis to reflect new developments.

APPENDIX B: Terminology

  • Correlation: A measure of the linear relationship between two series of random variables, which in the context of finance, can be two series of returns. Correlation ranges between -1 and 1. Correlation close to 1 indicates a more positive relationship between the pair of cryptocurrency returns and correlation close to -1 indicates a more negative linear relationship. Correlation close to 0 indicates no linear relationship.
  • PCA: A statistical procedure that uses an orthogonal transformation to convert a set of observations of possibly correlated variables into a set of values of linearly uncorrelated variables called principal components, in order to maximize the explained variance.

References

[1] T. (2018, December 11). Binance Losses Top Cryptocurrency Exchange Position to OKEX and ZB.Com. Retrieved from https://coingape.com/

[2] Lavere, M. (2019, February 13). Ethereum (ETH) Mining Reward Hits Lowest Ever.  Retrieved from https://ethereumworldnews.com/

[3] Bitking74. (2017, October 24). UPbit and Bittrex are sharing the same order book. This is a win win for both sides: bring some Korean liquidity to Bittrex, also the Korean users start with nicely filled order books from Bittrex. Go NEO. Neotrader [Online forum]. Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/Neotrader/comments/78fztu/upbit_and_bittrex_are_sharing_the_same_order_book/

[4] J. (2018, September 18). Chinese Investor Loses 700,000 Yuan Due To Fcoin Crypto Manipulation. Retrieved from https://www.coindaily.co/

[5] Sillers, A. (2018, September 12). The evidence of OKex’s fraudulent behavior, which may point to HitBTC as well. Retrieved from https://www.chepicap.com/

Disclaimer

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a research report or investment advice. It should not be construed as Coinscious recommending investment in cryptocurrencies or other products or services, or as a solicitation to buy or sell any security or engage in a particular investment strategy. Investment in the crypto market entails substantial risk. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and consult all available material, and, if necessary, seek professional advice.

Coinscious and its partners, directors, shareholders and employees may have a position in entities referred to herein or may make purchases and/or sales from time to time, or they may act, or may have acted in the past, as an advisor to certain companies mentioned herein and may receive, or may have received, a remuneration for their services from those companies.

Neither Coinscious or its partners, directors, shareholders or employees shall be liable for any damage, expense or other loss that you may incur out of reliance on any information contained in this report.

Crypto Cheers & Controversies

By | News | No Comments

⚖ FinCEN Penalizes Its First P2P Currency Exchanger

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

For the first time, the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has penalized a peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency exchanger for breaking anti-money laundering (AML) rules. FinCEN announced that the individual, Eric Powers, operated an unregistered money services business, did not have any written policies and procedures for compliance to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), and failed to report and suspicious transactions. 

SOURCE: THEBLOCKCRYPTO


?? Coinnest Shuts Down

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

Coinnest, South Korea’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced it will be officially closing down. The decision comes as a result of the exchange struggling to cope with changes in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. They advised users will need to withdraw any funds on its platform by April 30

A few controversies the exchange experienced dealt with in the past year may be cause for its shut down. This January, the exchange reportedly lost $5 million worth in bitcoin and other digital assets, due to a mistaken airdrop. Last year, a top-level executive from Coinnest were arrested by Korean law enforcement agents and later convicted for fraud. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Self-Proclaimed Bitcoin Creator Sues Podcaster for Libel

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

Craig Wrightthe self-proclaimed creator of bitcoin, has sued podcaster Peter McCormack, of What Bitcoin Did, for libel. Wright accuses McCormack of denying he is Satoshi Nakamoto and is seeking nearly $130,000 in damages.

SOURCE: CCN


? Bakkt Eyes New York Licence For Crypto Custody

THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) –  the owner of the New York Stock Exchange – is reportedly eyeing a New York license for its long-delayed crypto exchange Bakkt. The launch of Bakkt has been delayed by over five months due to scepticism from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over concerns of how clients’ tokens, linked to bitcoin futures, will safely be stored.

SOURCE: BLOOMBERG


⛓ Binance Chain Launches

THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019

Binance has officially launched its mainnet Binance Chain. The cryptocurrency exchange announced it will activate its native token, BNB, on the new network on April 23, allowing token holders to migrate their balances. In order to maintain a constant supply on both networks, old ethereum-based tokens will be destroyed as new BNB tokens are created on Binance Chain.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


⚖ Winklevoss Brothers Settle $26M Bitcoin Lawsuit

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have finally settled their lawsuit with Charlie Shrem, a bitcoin supporter and entrepreneur. Shrem claimed the Winklevoss twins owed him $26 million dollars worth of bitcoin. The U.S. District Court for the Sourthern District of New York announced a settlement has been reached by both parties. Both parties will have the right to reopen the case and proceed the trial within 30 days. 

SOURCE: BITCOINEXCHANGEGUIDE


? Coinbase Expands Crypto-to-Crypto Services to 11 Countries

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, introduced its Coinbase Pro trading platform to 11 more countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia including: Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Zealand.  The company announced that crypto-to-crypto trading is now available to users in 53 countries. 

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


?? Rakuten Opens Crypto Wallet Registration

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Japanese e-commerce giant, Rakuten, has started accepting account registrations for its upcoming cryptocurrency wallet, Rakuten Wallet. The company announced that users who have an account with Rakuten Bank or who already have a Rakuten member ID can sign-up prior to the official trading launch this June. 

SOURCE: COINGEEK


❌ Kraken Delists Bitcoin SV Following Community Poll

TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

Kraken, the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, set up a Twitter poll yesterday, asking its users whether it should delist bitcoin SV. Voters took to the polls and it was a 71% majority in favour of delisting the asset. Kraken’s decision follows in the footsteps of Binance, who dropped the coin earlier this week due to its founder’s “antiethical behaviour.”

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? USDT Launches on Tron Network

MONDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Tether has begun issuing its USD-pegged stablecoin, USDT, on the Tron‘s TRC-20 protocol. The development is an upgrade from the OMNI protocol-based USDT. Existing users of USDT can directly convert their tokens to USDT-Tron by contacting Tether or through exchanges. The network intends to allow zero fee transactions for the new coin.

SOURCE: COINGAPE


❌ Binance Delists Bitcoin SV (BSV)

MONDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has announced it is delisting bitcoin SV (BSV) starting April 22. The decision was made due to controversy around BSV’s founder, Craig Wright, who’s proclaimed he is the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright has been unrelenting on Twitter, attacking users who refute his claim. CZ earlier warned Wright that he would delist the altcoin if he did not change his behaviour; Wright did not heed his threats.  

SOURCE: COINDESK


?  Blockchain Watch: Oh Whale

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019
THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019
TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019
MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

SOURCE: TWITTER


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Official Crypto Beginnings & Ends

By | News | No Comments

? Binance Labs Grants $45K To Three Blockchain Projects

FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019

Binance Labs, a venture arm of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, granted $15,000 to each of its first 3 open-source Fellowship projects:

  • Ironbelly: a mobile crypto wallet from Grin blockchain,
  • HOPR: a privacy-preserving messaging protocol, and
  • Kitsune Wallet: an upgradeable on-chain wallet.

Binance Labs Fellowship helps fund and support open-source development projects that contribute and have infrastructure value to the blockchain ecosystem.

SOURCE: CRYPTONINJAS


? WikiLeaks Receives BTC Donation Worth $20,000

FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019

WikiLeaks leader, Julian Assange, was arrested by United Kingdom police for extradition to the United States. Assange has sought asylum since 2012 at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, but Ecuador recently withdrew this status. 

Since Assange’s arrest, WikiLeaks has plead for donations from the public to contribute to its official defence fund. The fund has received $20,000 worth of bitcoin at the time of this writing. 

SOURCE: DAILYHODL


? Coinbase Vice President Leaves After 5 Years

FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019

Coinbase, the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, will say goodbye to executive and vice president, Dan Romero, at the end of this month. Romero has been with the company since 2014 when there was only 20 employees; they now have over 700.

The announcement was officially made through Coinbase’s Medium account, but does not share any specific reason for his departure. A total of nine senior and mid-level employees have left Coinbase since its fundraiser October of 2018. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Bakkt Hires Former Paypal & Google Exec For New Chief Product Officer

THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2019

Bitcoin futures exchange, Bakkt, has introduced their new Chief Product Officer (CPO), Mike Blandina, a former Paypal and Google senior engineer executive. Bakkt CEO, Kelly Loeffler, announced that Mike will lead efforts to “converge a trusted ecosystem for digital assets with payment use cases.”

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? 5th MakerDAO Poll To Increase in Stability Fee

THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2019

Users of MakerDAO‘s stablecoin, DAI, are taking to the polls for the fifth vote this year to further increase the stability fee another 4%; a total increase of 11.5% per year if approved. The polls end today at 5 PM UTC and the majority so far is in favour of the increase. DAI is an ERC-20-based stablecoin pegged 1:1 with the USD via issuance of Maker-administered collateralized debt positions. 

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


?? China To Proposes New Policy on Crypto Mining

THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2019

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has published a draft proposal looking to restrict and/or eliminate virtual currency mining. It does not outright specify that mining should be banned, but says it’s necessary to control as the current industry heavily relies on fossil fuel energy which leads to increased environmental pollution. 

Half of all existing bitcoin mining operations occur in China. If the proposal were to become policy, it will not only alter environmental impacts of bitcoin mining, but also decentralised mining efforts: wider hash rate distribution, stronger network, and new mining locations using renewable energy.  

SOURCE: NEWSBTC


? Coinbase Card Launches in the U.K.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019

Cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, has launched Coinbase Card to allow users in the United Kingdom to spend cryptocurrencies in-stores or any online website. The card itself is a Visa card that works with any merchants on the Visa network.

Coinbase has also released a Coinbase Card mobile app to manage crypto balances. Users can directly access cryptocurrencies from their account, without needing to transfer assets from the main to card app. The card costs $6.50 and every transaction costs 2.49% in fees (1.49% conversion fee plus 1% transaction fee. 

SOURCE: TECHCRUNCH


❌New York Rejects BitLicense Application by Bittrex

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019

Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange, Bittrex, was rejected by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) on their application for a  BitLicense. The NYDFS published a formal letter outlining all of the factors and deficiencies that contributed to their decision. This included Bittrex’s: inadequate BSA/AML/OFAC compliance program, inadequate coin/token due diligence, inadequate capital, and more. 

Bittrex has released their official statement in response to the NYDFS’ decision. The company has stated that at this time, they are unsure if they will reapply for the BitLicense. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Mt. Gox Creditors Leader Leaves Post

TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2019

Founder and coordinator of Mt. Gox Legal, Andy Pag, has stepped down from the organized creditor group. Pag spearheaded the group 18 months ago with the intention of advocating for the reimbursement of creditors of the now defunct cryptocurrency exchange, Mt. Gox. Fast forward to today, Pag has shared in an interview that he believes ongoing legal issues – especially with former startup partner Coinlab – may hold up the civil rehabilitation process for up to two more years. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Western Union Partners With Digital Wallet

TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2019

Money transfer giant, Western Union, has partnered with digital wallet provider, Coins.ph, to expand cross-border transfers to the users in the Philippines. Users can receive and hold international money transfers from Western Union’s digital and retail networks in more than 60 and 200 countries respectively. 

SOURCE: COINSPEAKER


✂ Bitfinex Removes Minimum $10K Balance Requirement

TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2019

Cryptocurrency exchange, Bitfinex, has removed its $10,000 minimum equity trading requirement. On their official blog, they advised the update is in response to increasing level of requests for access to trade on the exchange from a wide variety of traders. To support their new wave of customers, the company has redesigned their support centre, created a new KYC portal, and will start offering sentiment analysis for supported coins/tokens.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


⚖ QuadrigaCX Officially Declares Bankruptcy

MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019

On Monday, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruled that the Canadian-based cryptocurrency exchange, QuadrigaCX, will be entering bankruptcy. Since the end-of-January, QuadrigaCX has been operating under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to get assistance reclaiming access to funds located in cold wallets. Currently, the company owes 115,000 users more than $195 million worth in both cryptocurrency and fiat.

SOURCE: COINDESK


?  Blockchain Watch: Oh Whale

FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019
THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2019
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019
TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2019
MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019
SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2019

SOURCE: TWITTER


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Crypto Exchanges: Make It Or Break It

By | News | No Comments

? Ripple Partners with $19 Billion Bank

FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2019

Ripple Inc., has partnered with India-based commercial bank, Federal Bank to offer blockchain solutions for cross-border remittances. At the moment, it’s unclear whether cryptocurrency will be directly related as fiat to crypto trading is illegal in India. Federal Bank is estimated to be worth $19 billion dollars with access to 8 million customers. 

SOURCE: ETHEREUMWORLDNEWS


? FINMA Affirms Envion AG’s ICO Was Unlawful

FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2019

Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), has found Envion AG‘s ICO launch last July 2018 to be illegal. In their official report, it was discovered that the company accepted funds – in the form of bitcoin, ethereum, and USD – from over 37,000 investors and amounted to over 90 million francs.  

Envion was pitched as decentralized, clean energy for mobile mining units. EVN tokens were issued on cryptocurrency exchanges to its investors. The company has since been taken over by the Swiss Cantonal Court of Zug Switzerland, dissolved and ordered to be liquidated.

SOURCE: BITCOINIST


? CEDEX Secures $50M Worth of Diamonds for ETF

THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2019

CEDEX, a blockchain-based trading platform, has secured over 6,000 diamonds, worth $50 million dollars, for the launch of its diamond exchange-traded fund (ETF). The platform uses blockchain technology and a proprietary algorithm that allows diamonds to become a tradable asset class like gold, overcoming challenges such as lack of transparency, liquidity and fungibility.

SOURCE: COINDESK


⚡ Zebpay Launches Bitcoin Lightning Network Integration

THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2019

Zebpay, a Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange, will be the first platform to enable Lightning Network payments for its bitcoin users. Customers worldwide can use their BTC wallet balances through web, iOS, and Android apps to make Lightning transactions. 

SOURCE: DAILYHODL


? Kraken Enforces 2FA and Launches Security Lab

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27, 2019

U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, Kraken, ramps up its security by making two-factor authentication (2FA) mandatory for users. Currently, the two supported options for 2FA are Google Authenticator and YubiKey.

In their official blog post, Chief Security Officer, Nick Percoco, also announced the formation of Kraken Security Labs. The team will be dedicated to enhancing security of their environments and products. 

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? Trustology Launches iPhone Crypto Wallet

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27, 2019

TrustVault, by Trustology, is now available for download from the Apple UK app store. The new iPhone cryptocurrency vault currently only supports ether but bitcoin and ERC-20 tokens will be added soon.

Unlike current typical cold wallets, it boasts a combination of hardware security modules (HSMs) with verification processes distributed among individuals at secure data centres. Users will be able to access funds within a matter of seconds. 

Trustology was founded by a team of technologists that previously worked at financial institutions including BNY Mellon, RBS, and Barclays. The company closed a seed round of $8 million last year. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


⚡ Huobi’s US Arm To Launch Lending, OTC Trading & Stablecoin

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27, 2019

Huobi Global’s U.S branch, HBUS, is organizing a new team headed by Katelyn Mew to develop solutions for its institutional investors. They will be focusing their time and resources creating services such as token lending, over-the-counter trading, and potential issuance of a Huobi stablecoin. 

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? DragonEx Crypto Exchange Has Been Hacked

TUESDAY, MARCH 26, 2019

Singapore cryptocurrency exchange, DragonEx, notified its users via Telegram that it suffered a hack. The cyberattack took place on Sunday, March 24 and resulted in theft from users and platform crypto assets. The crypto exchange administrator provided an update identifying 20 wallet addresses to where the stolen assets were transferred to: here

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? Rakuten Granted License for New Crypto Exchange

TUESDAY, MARCH 26, 2019

Japanese e-commerce giant, Rakuten, has received licenses for its relaunched cryptocurrency exchange, Rakuten Wallet. The license was issued by the country’s Financial Service Agency (FSA), registering it as a virtual currency exchange service provider. Users can sign up for the new service on March 30, 2019

SOURCE: COINDESK


?? Yahoo!-Backed Crypto Exchange to Launch May

TUESDAY, MARCH 26, 2019

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, Taotao – formerly known as BitARG – is set to launch this May. Taotao is currently 40% owned by a subsidiary of Yahoo! Japan. Taotao will launch two cryptocurrencies on its platform: bitcoin and ethereum. Users will be able to leverage margin positions for ripple, bitcoin cash and litecoin. 

SOURCE: CRYPTOGLOBE


⛓ OKEx Launches New Blockchain Platform & DEX

MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2019

Cryptocurrency exchange, OKEx, announced its latest projects including its new blockchain, OKChain, and decentralized platform, OKDEx.

OKChain is currently in its final stages of development and the testnet is set to launch June 2019. OKEx’s OKB token will start on the ERC-20 blockchain and migrate to the mainnet once it becomes ready. 700 million OKB tokens will be delayed for release between 2020 to 2022.

SOURCE: BITCOINEXCHANGE


? Seed CX Partners with Hydra X To Expand To Asia

MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2019

United States cryptocurrency exchange, Seed CX, has partnered with Hydra X, a Singapore-based FinTech firm, to offer its services in Asia. The integration of Seed CX’s exchange platform with Hydra X’s trading platform, Sigma, will allow users to view prices, trade and monitor their portfolio, as well as gain access to a fiat-cryptocurrency gateway. 

SOURCE: BLOCKTRIBUNE


? eToro Lists Tron

MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2019

eToro, the United Kingdom social trading platform, announced its listing for  Tron (TRX). This announcement comes after the company revealed it is offering its trading service in the United States. The platform currently lists 13 cryptocurrency assets including bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), ripple (XRP), litecoin (LTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), and stellar (XLM).

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


?  Blockchain Watch: Whale, Hello There

FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2019
THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2019
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27, 2019
TUESDAY, MARCH 26, 2019
MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2019

SOURCE: TWITTER


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Investigating Disruptive Patterns of Crypto Exchanges

By | Coinscious Lab, Data Analytics, Exchange Report | No Comments

Overview

Released monthly, this report aims to analyze and characterize cryptocurrency exchanges according to their volume for the past month, this time from January 16, 2019 to February 16, 2019.

Our universe of analysis uses public exchange data from 18 of some of the most popular exchanges1 (see Figure 1). Through analysis of the recent historical volume and price of individual exchanges we provide a framework for analysis where investors can identify better or fairer exchanges.

Using daily volume data from some of the most widely used cryptocurrency exchanges, we were able to cluster exchanges into three groups based on similarity in volume trends. Some of our findings include the following:

  • Fcoin and HitBTC go against the market both in terms of volume correlation and price-volume correlation.
  • Not only does volume and price seem to go against the market, but returns and volume are positively correlated only for Fcoin and HitBTC, while returns and volume are negatively correlated for the rest of exchanges.
  • Although ZB has reported the biggest traded volume in the past month, ZB volume trend patterns were different from the other top exchanges (Binance, HuobiPro, and OKEx). Generally, it showed a low correlation with the market in terms of traded volume.
  • It is also interesting to note that our analysis (Figure 4b. Top 5 positive correlations) accidentally reveals a shared order book between Upbit and Bittrex.

Performance

Figure 1. Total monthly volume, mean daily volume, max daily volume, mean hourly volume and max hourly volume for each exchange from January 16, 2019 to February 16, 2019 in USD. Monitor exchange performance daily through our Market & Trading Strategy Dashboard: dashboard.coinscious.io

According to the public exchange data, ZB has reported the biggest mean daily and hourly volume for the past month. Binance reportedly lost the crown as the king of cryptocurrency by trade volume on December 11, 2018 to be replaced by OKEx, who held the 1st place at that time, while ZB held 2nd [1].

In the past month, ZB has taken the first spot, with a total of 16 billion dollar traded between January 16th to February 16th, compared to 14 billion USD for OKEx (2nd) and Binance (3rd) (see Figure 1).

We then chose ETH/BTC pair to look at the volume more closely and analyze it in more depth. ZB traded volume for ETH/BTC is low during the whole period, with Binance, HuobiPro and OKEx as top exchanges. However, there was a rapid surge on February 11th, when volume changed from $500,000 USD to $67 million USD in one day, and it has remained high since then (see Figure 2). That same day,  according to Etherscan, daily mining rewards for Ethereum fell to their lowest recorded levels [2].

Figure 2. ETH/BTC pair daily volume for each exchange from January 16, 2019 to February 16, 2019 in USD.

Analysis

In order to categorize exchanges and investigate their trends during the past month, we performed a dimensionality reduction analysis using PCA2 for ETH/BTC pair daily volume. By plotting crypto exchanges according to their first two principal components, we could identify a cluster and some outliers (see Figure 3). The two first principal components explain more than 80% of the variance in our data set and the relative position along the x and y axis indicates similarity between exchanges in terms of traded volume. Thus, exchanges clustered together present similar volume trends, while outliers, namely Okex, HuobiPro, Binance, Fcoin, HitBTC, and ZB, show trends that diverge from the market mean.

Figure 3. PCA Volume analysis for ETH/BTC. The biplot, where the two main principal components are used to represent the exchanges allows us to identify clusters or groups of exchanges that might be correlated according to volume.

To understand the meaning of the two principal components and characterize the outliers, we decided to look at correlation between exchanges using volume for the ETH/BTC pair, to identify a general trend in the market and whether exchanges follow or are against the trend (see Figure 5). Although most exchanges show a similar trends (this is, they follow a similar daily volume trend), Bitflyer, ZB, Zaif, Fcoin, and HitBTC show a daily volume trend that goes against the market.

Figure 4a. Top 5 negative volume correlations

Figure 4b. Top 5 positive volume correlations

Figure 5. Daily volume correlations between exchanges from January 16, 2019 to February 16, 2019 for ETH/BTC. Correlation ranges between -1 and 1. Correlation close to 1 indicates a more positive relationship between the pair of cryptocurrency returns and correlation close to -1 indicates a more negative linear relationship. Correlation close to 0 indicates no linear relationship.

Fcoin in particular shows negative correlations with all exchanges except for HitBTC. This suggests that Bitflyer, ZB, Zaif, Fcoin, and HitBTC are acting against the market. Moreover, it’s interesting to see that Bitflyer, ZB, Zaif, Fcoin, and HitBTC are all based in Asian countries.

On the other hand, Upbit and Bittrex show the highest correlation for all exchange pairs. This similarity in volume is in line with reports suggesting that they share the same order book, although further analysis of blockchain data will be needed to confirm these claims [3].  

To explore what other factors could contribute to the clustering in different groups after Volume PCA, we calculated the correlation between ETH/BTC price and volume for every exchange pair (see Figure 6).

Figure 6. Daily price-volume correlations between exchanges from January 16, 2019 to February 16, 2019 for ETH/BTC. Correlation ranges between -1 and 1. Correlation close to 1 indicates a more positive relationship between the pair of cryptocurrency returns and correlation close to -1 indicates a more negative linear relationship. Correlation close to 0 indicates no linear relationship.

Again, Fcoin stands out as the exchange with a highest negative correlation between ETC/BTC price and volume for all exchanges showing that, not only the volume, but ETH price is also against the market3. While most exchanges show a positive trend, with high volumes associated to higher prices, Fcoin shows a negative trend, where higher volumes during the analyzed period are associated with lower prices and vice versa.

This raised suspicions that Fcoin might be manipulating price and volume, especially for the pair that we have analyzed (ETH/BTC). Fcoin has been accused of manipulation in the past. In September, a Chinese investor filed a complaint against the exchange, which presumably induced sudden drops in price through manipulation after investing huge amounts in Fcoin token [4].

Finally, if we look at the correlation between returns (instead of price) and volume for ETH/BTC (Figure 7), HitBTC and Fcoin are again the exchanges going against the general trend. High returns in HitBTC and Fcoin are associated with an increase in volume, while high returns elicit a decrease in volume for the rest of exchanges (negative correlation between returns and volume). Interestingly, HitBTC has also been accused of volume manipulation [5].

Figure 7. Daily returns-volume correlations between exchanges from January 16, 2019 to February 16, 2019 for ETH/BTC. Correlation ranges between -1 and 1. Correlation close to 1 indicates a more positive relationship between the pair of cryptocurrency returns and correlation close to -1 indicates a more negative linear relationship. Correlation close to 0 indicates no linear relationship.

Summary

Using daily volume data from 18 of some of the most widely used cryptocurrency exchanges and principal component analysis, we identified three clusters of exchanges sharing similar volume trends. We mainly looked at volume correlations and price-volume correlations. Our findings include:

  • Fcoin and HitBTC go against the market both in terms of volume correlation and price-volume correlation.
  • Not only volume and price seem to go against the market, but returns and volume are positively correlated only for Fcoin and HitBTC, while returns and volume are negatively correlated for the rest of exchanges.
  • Although ZB has reported the biggest traded volume in the past month, PCA analysis separates it from the other top exchanges (Binance, HuobiPro, and OKEx) and show a low correlation with the market in terms of traded volume.
  • It is also interesting to note that our analysis (Figure 4b Top 5 positive correlations) accidentally reveals a shared orderbook between Upbit and Bittrex

Here, these findings are simple observations of possibly correlated variables. We share this from the point-of-view of something to look out for. Overall, our exchange analysis has proven useful to study patterns of volume and price activity in the market and identify potential manipulation, that could be confirmed using blockchain data.

Footnotes

1 The scope of this report does not cover futures contracts.

2 PCA is a technique that finds underlying variables that best differentiates your data points. In this article, we visualize and analyze along the two dimensions which the data points varies the most (see Appendix B).

3 Here, the market is refers to the trend of majority of the exchanges.

APPENDIX A: Methodology

The daily volume of cryptocurrencies in USD at 4:00 PM EST from January 16, 2019 to February 16, 2019 was used for our volume ranking. Daily volume and price for the pair ethereum_bitcoin was used for the same time period for the PCA analysis and correlation analysis. Price and volume were normalized such that its distribution had mean value 0 and standard deviation of 1 in order to perform principal component analysis and calculate price-volume correlations. In subsequent reports, we may update our universe, sectors, methodology, and analysis to reflect new developments.

APPENDIX B: Terminology

  • Correlation: A measure of the linear relationship between two series of random variables, which in the context of finance, can be two series of returns. Correlation ranges between -1 and 1. Correlation close to 1 indicates a more positive relationship between the pair of cryptocurrency returns and correlation close to -1 indicates a more negative linear relationship. Correlation close to 0 indicates no linear relationship.
  • PCA: A statistical procedure that uses an orthogonal transformation to convert a set of observations of possibly correlated variables into a set of values of linearly uncorrelated variables called principal components, in order to maximize the explained variance.

References

[1] T. (2018, December 11). Binance Losses Top Cryptocurrency Exchange Position to OKEX and ZB.Com. Retrieved from https://coingape.com/

[2] Lavere, M. (2019, February 13). Ethereum (ETH) Mining Reward Hits Lowest Ever.  Retrieved from https://ethereumworldnews.com/

[3] Bitking74. (2017, October 24). UPbit and Bittrex are sharing the same order book. This is a win win for both sides: bring some Korean liquidity to Bittrex, also the Korean users start with nicely filled order books from Bittrex. Go NEO. Neotrader [Online forum]. Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/Neotrader/comments/78fztu/upbit_and_bittrex_are_sharing_the_same_order_book/

[4] J. (2018, September 18). Chinese Investor Loses 700,000 Yuan Due To Fcoin Crypto Manipulation. Retrieved from https://www.coindaily.co/

[5] Sillers, A. (2018, September 12). The evidence of OKex’s fraudulent behavior, which may point to HitBTC as well. Retrieved from https://www.chepicap.com/

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